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The Effects of Cardio Exercise

author image S. Grey
S. Grey has a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is also pursuing a PhD and has a love for psychology, comic books and social justice. He has been published in a text on social psychology and regularly presents research at regional psychology conferences.
The Effects of Cardio Exercise
A fitness class. Photo Credit Alexander Novikov/iStock/Getty Images

Cardio exercises have both long and short-term effects. Some effects happen quickly, while others build over time. While in the moment you may be short of breath, eventually you may see fewer pounds on the scale. When you keep it up, cardio exercise creates long-term gains that positively impact your health.

Going the Distance

Cardio exercise has a number of effects. Its immediate effects include an increased heart rate and sweating. According to nutrionist Dr. Rosemary Stanton, cardio exercise leads to other effects over time. Your heart becomes more efficient and capable of handling more stress and you can take in more oxygen during activity. You also decrease your chances of developing heart problems and you protect against depression. Cardiovascular improvements can include lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, and better cholesterol ratios. Among other things, you increase your energy expenditure, leading to more calories out and less pounds on your body. A healthy diet is an important companion to cardio exercise in order to realize the greatest benefits.

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